Solid State Records arguably houses the strongest forces in metal music, boasting a roster including Silent Planet, Underoath, Norma Jean, August Burns Red, Haste the Day… It’s a strong track record. Death Therapy, a recent addition, was grandfathered into the family, as band figurehead Jason Wisdom fronted Becoming the Archetype from 1999-2011, also signed to Solid State. The band offers new texture and flavor to the label’s artist roster. After releasing a three-song demo in 2016, fans can finally bask in Death Therapy’s full-length debut release, The Storm Before the Calm.
Death Therapy’s final statement is one of perseverance in a world that no longer functions in terms of life and then death, but a world that wrestles with death on a daily basis, until one day we find life.
Self-described as “industrial groove metal,” Death Therapy undoubtedly brings a mechanized sound to heavy music with vocal filters and fuzzy bass tones. Now in this new project, a conscientious step away from the technical prowess of Becoming the Archetype, he is steering the ship from wide-scope progressive death core toward unexplored territory. The songs carry the weight of Wisdom’s internal battles and vocalize them through eerie, track-driven expression.
When the album started with “Until Then,”the intensity that grew so quickly under the shadow of such a slow tempo and open chord choices was intriguing. The static-filters and sharp drum mix undeniably gives off the warehouse-vibe and blended perfectly with the wet-sounding keys. However, as the album progressed, it kept begging for the thick, heavy moment that seldom broke through like it does in the chorus of “Wake Me (When I’m Dead)” and in the explosive screams in “Possessed.” Those moments jump out and grab you by the throat; they have a unique balance of electronic authority and live-instrument integrity, something the album craves overall.
After walking through Wisdom’s story told in song, track-by-track, the album ends with a two-part instrumental opus, “The Belmont Family Curse,” separated by “Night” and “Day.” A seemingly strange addition considering the rest of the album’s personal content, these final tracks still hold immense narrative within the sound choices and melodies that ultimately reflect the theme of The Storm Before the Calm. Death Therapy’s final statement is one of perseverance in a world that no longer functions in terms of life and then death, but a world that wrestles with death on a daily basis, until one day we find life.
The Storm Before the Calm is a shift in perspective that could put this two-piece, bass-driven groove metal band on the map. Death Therapy is just getting started, and something tells me that they aren’t coming out as a subtle force.